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Seeing, experiencing, and researching Africa

Africa-related research at the University of Bayreuth is unique for a variety of reasons. The Institute of African Studies (IAS) is one of the largest institutes of its kind worldwide.  Bayreuth's research on Africa is based on the principle of "researching together with Africa". It offers a unique range of subjects and an impressive network of scholars in Africa and beyond.

IAS (Institute of African Studies)

  • The Institute of African Studies (IAS) promotes and coordinates African Studies across 12 departments representing all six faculties at the University of Bayreuth.
  • The breadth of subject areas covered here makes the institute unique in the German-speaking world.                                                                                                             
  • In addition, the IAS coordinates research, teaching, and the training of early-career researchers and promotes the exchange of information between academics and institutions engaged in research and teaching in or about Africa. ...more

BA (Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies)

  • The Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies offers a platform for pioneering research projects on important current topics that contribute to interdisciplinary and cross-regional debates.
  • It brings research about Africa and  its diasporas into an academic dialogue with other research fields. Here, African Studies demonstrate that the field is capable of providing important impetus for interdisciplinary research debates beyond conventional "area studies".
  • At the same time, Africa is examined in its global context, considered in its interconnection with diasporas as well as other regions and histories of the world. ...more

BIGSAS (Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies)

  • The Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS) has been funded by the German Research Foundation as part of the Excellence Initiative since 2007.
  • The focus of this unique structure is one the creative and innovative training of approximately 100 Junior Fellows from 27 African, American, Asian, and European countries. The PhD students benefit from well-structured academic and career-oriented training as well as genuine expertise in African Studies at the University of Bayreuth, which has increased and deepened continuously since its establishment in 1975.
  • BIGSAS maintains an international network comprising six partner universities on the African continent, thus creating  excellent conditions for the research of our Junior Fellows. ...more

CREATE − Consortium for Research in East African Tropical Ecosystems

  • The objectives of the CREATE Consortium initiated by the University of Bayreuth and Maseno University are:
  • to Create a platform for international exchange of scientific data with respect to the ways global change impacts East African ecosystems
  • to Realize new projects and foster collaborative research on the impact of global change on ecosystems in East Africa
  • to Educate doctoral students in up-to-date methods, approaches and innovations in research on global change
  • to Analyze land use change and land management issues transdisciplinarily along transport chains
  • to Tie together different approaches of social, cultural, and natural sciences in order to bring to light the factors driving the change of East African landscapes
  • to Encourage current but even more importantly the next generation of natural scientists in East Africa to pursue proactive management of their natural resources ...more

DEVA (Project for digitization, electronic editions, and data networks in African studies)

  • DEVA is developing an extensive database system and maintains the central archive
  • for African studies at the University of Bayreuth.
  • It makes available image, sound, and text documents in structured databases, in addition to detailed itemizations of research documents. The continuous expansion and maintenance of the local databases ensures sustainable preservation of raw research data.
  • The linking of research data with meta-databases guarantees a high level of availability of the documents.
  • The objective is to create a complex information system for Africa-related research together with national and international partners. ... more


  • The Iwalewahaus provides a venue for the production and presentation of contemporary art.
  • Through exhibitions, academic research and teaching, art collections and archives as well as by providing residencies for artists, the Iwalewhaus presents and refines recent developments in contemporary African and Diaspora culture  together with artists and institutions. ...more


  • The collaborative research project SEED between the University of Bayreuth and Moi University Eldoret (Kenya) was established in 2011. The project is funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) as a DIES partnership and aims to support higher education management at both universities by developing and configuring new information and communication technologies and services.
  • SEED focuses on designing strategies for planning and implementation, to be validated through the configuration of a joint data platform with key technologies in the areas of e-learning and archiving.
  • SEED also seeks to promote the availability and adoption of electronic applications in teaching, learning, research, and higher education management. ...more

TGCL (Tanzanian-German Centre for Eastern African Legal Studies)

  • The TGCL was founded in 2008 in close cooperation between the University of Bayreuth and the School of Law at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
  • It offers outstanding law students from partner countries in the East African Community (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Southern Sudan) structured master's (LLM) and doctoral programmes. The centre therefore plays an important role in training future East Africa's elites.
  • The programme is offered at the University of Dar es Salaam's School of Law in close cooperation with the Institute of African Studies and the Faculty of Law, Business & Economics at the University of Bayreuth.
  • The TGCL is one of five Academic Centres of Excellence in Africa funded by the DAAD through its “Action Africa” funding scheme. ... more

Webmaster: Dr. Ron Herrmann

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